Tag: engagement

Feeling the ‘Press’ure

There is no doubt that the PR and marketing industry has changed over recent years and will never be the same again. This, in my opinion, is primarily down to people having less time and a shift in media consumption.

Once upon a time you would buy a paper, read it and pass it on. You may watch some TV and listen to the radio too, whereby you were likely to come across some strategically placed advertisements suggesting that you buy this or that.

Press advertising and outdoor displays have been around for as long as I can remember but the use of digital has taken consumer engagement to a completely new level and this is what has impacted on traditional media sales.

As more publications become available online, a greater number of commuters, business men and women, choose to read the press before they get into work – usually on their smart phones or iPads meaning that there is no need or desire for them to purchase a paper, never mind read it during work hours.

As a result of these changes printed media are having to do more to engage with their audience and showcase why they are different and what value a person can gain from both reading in print and online versions of their publications.

Many printed business press have chosen to hold round table events, which bring together market leaders – this gives them the time to debate current industry topics, while also providing the journalist with the chance to sit in a room full of potential content and if they time it right an exclusive or two!

Most publications now have online versions as well as printed options so it’s a balancing act between having what the consumer wants and still showcasing the value of print.

As an agency that has worked within the print market for more than 10 years, we know the value and benefit of print, not least the tangible aspect of a creatively designed, full colour piece. There is no doubt that there is still a place for print and The Drum, a marketing trade publication, has gone one step further.

I received an email yesterday with the subject: ‘My Big Mistake’. Naturally I wondered what that mistake would be – there can be some interesting #fails when you work in our industry. Never did I think this ‘mistake’ would be one of the most insightful, challenging and intriguing ideas I’ve come across.

The Drum have decided to complete an edition of the magazine in front of a live audience – yes, live! Those who attend the event on 3 July will see the team plan the publication layout, make decisions about the front cover story plus what other news will and won’t make the cut. In addition interviews will take place there and then with questions asked about the angles that should be chosen for feature pieces that will appear within the final piece.

Not only is this brave but it’s an incredible way of getting people to understand The Drum and how it works. It will give people a genuine insight into what makes good copy and what questions the team ask before submitting a final piece to go to print.

Unfortunately I won’t be in a position to attend the event but I can’t wait to read the final piece. Everyone attending will get an editorial credit – again, a very good ideas and just one way to get people to really buy in to the publication.

Well done to The Drum – a huge thumbs up! They are taking print to the masses, getting them involved, engaging with their audience, building brand loyalty and injecting some genuine creativity and excitement into what they do – nice work.

The Skypes the limit

 

We have recently secured our first international client and they just happen to be at the other side of the world! As you would expect we have had to take into account time differences but more importantly how we choose to communicate with the team.

 

We could have chosen to ring them and to hold regular conference calls but it is difficult to build a relationship with clients without putting a face to a name, which is why we always hold regular on site monthly meetings with the brands we work with.

 

In this instance a monthly meeting was obviously out of the question – mores the pity – however the wonder of modern technology has come to the rescue with the well-known social tool Skype.  Not only are we able to see the team but we can build a relationship with them and our calls can include the usual banter you would expect from our monthly meetings.

 

The fact that Skype is a cost effective option for business makes it all the more appealing and an obvious choice for those who want to work with clients that are based across the globe. Better still you don’t feel that you have to keep the calls short, or that you can’t engage with some general chatter as well as the business you have to deal with.

 

Of course this is not the first time we have used Skype for business, we have had calls with suppliers in Croatia who use it as a common tool to connect with prospects and brands in the UK. I have to admit that at first it was a little strange but now it’s just an alternative to the standard telephone call and if I’m honest a far more appealing option.

 

For all those considering Skype for business I would suggest that you try it out. Not only are you able to connect and communicate with your clients but the system also gives you the option to widen your scope, after all if your prospect list could span the globe as opposed to the UK then why not?

 

We are currently looking at other ways that we can use Skype to benefit our clients so if anyone has any examples or suggestions please feel free to comment.

The humble #hashtag

 

How times have changed. It’s hard to believe that you could once hold a conversation without the word hashtag ever being mentioned, in fact many people would probably have questioned what the little symbol was for until Twitter came along and it became a global phenomenon overnight.

Most celebrities crave for the stardom the hashtag received and continues to attract. Its use, and dare I suggest overuse, is possibly questionable in some instances but it goes without saying that #FF and #Yorkshirehour, plus of course let us never forget #susanalbumparty, are now a part of our daily lives. Ok, the latter not so much so but it still makes me smile!

I noticed today in the i that they have addressed the humble hashtag and even dedicated a DPS (double page spread) to the story – oh what a transformation, from unused and neglected to household reference in a matter of years.

What I hadn’t realised is that the use of the hashtag for grouping information or searching themes and trends should be attributed (if the piece in the paper is to be believed – and we all know when it’s in the paper it has to be true!) to a man named Chris Messina.

Well done Chris – you turned an innocent symbol into a global superstar. But is it really useful? Well, you can debate that people will hashtag any old thing in order to try and engage and converse with others but the truth of the matter is that if leading broadcasters are using hashtags before programmes then they must see some benefit in them.

I do enjoy watching a programme while also following my twitter feed. The Olympics wouldn’t have been the same without it and as for documentaries I simply can’t help but giggle along with some of the comments made – I even go so far as to retweet a few if I think they’re worth it.

So the humble hashtag, are you a hashtagger or do you prefer to stick to straight forward conversation without attempting to be ‘down with the kids?’ There is no doubt that things are changing all of the time and a whole new world of conversation is upon us – the question is #areyouin or #areyouout?